For rugby star Jade Konkel-Roberts, juggling long and gruelling practices with her full-time job as a firefighter is a constant challenge.
But she says another major priority for her, ever since joining London Fire Brigade, has been donating to us too.
Jade, 28, plays for Harlequins Women and has also represented the Scottish national team since 2013. She’s now preparing to play in the Women’s Rugby World Cup for Scotland.
“Being quite a male dominated sport, there wasn’t really much where I was growing up at the top of Scotland!” says Jade of her rugby career.
“I joined an all-boys team when I was nine for a year, because there were no girls teams, and then I didn’t properly start playing until I was 17.
“I started playing for Scotland’s Under 20s, and then I’ve been in the senior squad since 2012. It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind to be honest!”
Jade has always been used to juggling her workload, having played rugby alongside a job in a care home while she was at university.
“Then in 2016 I was offered a contract with rugby, so I moved to France for a year with that, and then I moved to London from there,” she adds.
However, alongside her incredible sporting career, Jade had dreamed of becoming a firefighter for years.
“I’ve always wanted to join some form of emergency service and firefighting has always been a big interest for me, but it wasn’t until I moved to London that I actually put the steps in place to make it happen,” says Jade.
After months of training and tests, Jade joined the service in March 2021 and she adds: “I absolutely love being a firefighter.
“If I’m on a night shift, I’ll go to training in the daytime and then I’ll go to work in the evening, then on my days off from the Brigade, I’ll be in rugby pretty much full time.
“It’s hard work but so worth it.”
Jade was even on the frontline in Wennington this week, on the hottest day of the year.
She tweeted shortly after: “Major incident declared. It has been a challenging day here at #Wennington but proud to have played a part. Heartbreaking for the families involved. Stay safe everyone!”
Major incident declared. It has been a challenging day here at #Wennington but proud to have played a part.
Heartbreaking for the families involved. Stay safe everyone! https://t.co/ox562o4byf
— Jade Konkel-Roberts (née Konkel) (@JadeKonkel) July 19, 2022
From her time as a firefighter in training school, Jade has known about the support we offer – and she now regularly donates on a monthly basis, knowing we could be there for her and her colleagues when they need us most. And that support lasts a lifetime.
“I’m so new to the job, I haven’t had chance to get stuck into as many fundraising events as I’d like yet,” says Jade. “But donating to this Charity is so important. Who knows when I may need support?
“Being a firefighter comes with huge pressures day to day. Knowing I’m supporting a charity that could support me with everything from a sports injury through to my mental health in the future is always going to be a priority.”
Our regular donors are the lifeblood of our Charity. By setting up a monthly donation, you’ll be directly impacting the lives of thousands of individuals every year.